Seagulls have become a nuisance along the Grand Canal in Venice, and hotels have adopted a variety of strategies to ward them off. Two in particular – Marriott’s excellent Gritti Palace and Preferred Hotels’ Hotel Monaco – have started issuing water pistols to guests.
The birds are a protected species, and have to be dispatched in non-cruel ways. The Venice hotel association is said to be working on plans to address the matter but individual properties are taking things into their own hands.
Some strategies on the agenda include,
- Using a falconer to hunt down the seagulls (expensive)
- Blasting sound at them to scare them off (baby shark?)
- Use of odors that ward them off but that are imperceptible to humans
Here’s the frustration,
“As soon as guests get up, perhaps to go to the buffet, seagulls pounce on the food and take it away…We are forced to intervene continuously to change tablecloths, plates and glasses, which they often break. Some customers laugh about it, but others get angry.”
What the Luxury Collection Gritti Palace is doing is giving guests orange water pistols. Apparently seagulls hate orange.
“As soon as they see the pistols, they fly away,” Paolo Lorenzini, of the Gritti Palace, told the Italian press. “You don’t even need to use them, you just need to keep them on the table.”
Permission to shoot a hotel-provided water gun at breakfast seems like something I’d be willing to pay a resort fee for. And the Gritti Palace doesn’t even charge one!